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Longing
#1
After being horseless for 40 years, I finally have a life with horses again! Working with BLM volunteers learning to gentle the Mustangs prior to adoption and loving it! A fell in love with one, Bo, and adopted him. I'm having some difficulty with longing due to inexperience and some physical disabilities which includes rotator cuff tear and detached biceps tendon in my right arm. Bo seems pretty lazy, and it is wearing me out to try to keep him moving. I've used a small flag but can't get him to lope. He does ok with walking and trots, but it takes constant noise and hand gestures to keep him going (very rough on my arm). I did get him to lope once by stomping behind him making gorilla noises. I bought a longe whip which is more effective, but harder on that arm. Bo has an amazing amount of trust in me, in fact I can sit on him while he is lying down and he is fine with it. He is willing to learn and puts in a good effort. My physical limitations have made longing a constant battle and I'm wondering if I should give it up and get a trainer for the ground work or keep on trying. Bo does improve slightly each time we work, but my arm is killing me. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks so much. Great forum!!!
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#2
Do you have a round pen? That might be a little easier on you since you don't have to use the lunge longe line.

Training is in what you put into it. If you want him to react and respect small cues/soft cues you need a system that sets it up so that he can learn that. Don't worry about the cantering until you have the walk and then trot down. Get him out on the line like you normally do. Lets go to the left. Point and give your voice cue. If he doesn't listen do it again but wiggle the whip towards his butt. If that doesn't get him going then flick it towards him. You have to do this all fairly quickly. 1, 2, 3 and if he doesn't listen let the end of the whip touch him. He has to learn that you will make him move if he doesn't listen. He will start to understand that point and voice cue he better move that butt because mom will push the matter!! Work on this. Don't worry about the gait at first. Just make him move and then stop, move and then stop. Do that 100 times if you have to until he gets it. That is your goal, it should have been the first goal of teaching him to longe. Once that gas pedel is unstuck then you can work on control of the speed.
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#3
Stormie,

If I don't have to worry about the canter right now, that makes things a lot easier. Another trainer had suggested that I had to make him do all the gaits from the start. Your suggestion makes more sense under the circumstances. Thanks a bunch!!
Linda
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#4
It's easier to walk, then trot and then canter and get each one set. The faster you go the less control you have and if you have no control at the walk you will have even less at the canter.
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